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EMC Moving Toward Services-Oriented Architecture

EMC is moving to take advantage of a wide range of internally developed and acquired technology, including its core information lifecycle management technology.

EMC is readying its technology as the IT world moves away from platform-centric infrastructure -- built around an unchanging stack of servers, storage, management tools, and applications -- to a services-oriented architecture under which those resources are brought together as needed to do a job and then released for other uses, Tucci said.

To prepare for the coming of the services-oriented architecture, EMC has acquired a range of technology developers, including VMware, the leading server virtualization software; Smarts, with applications to discover and map storage, IP and application resources; the grid software acquired from Acxiom; the Invista storage virtualization appliance; NAS virtualization software from Rainfinity; and Documentum. "We have a lot of assets that are going to help bring this world to a services-oriented architecture," he said.

As part of this move, EMC is in the process of adding Smarts technology to its ControlCenter storage resource management application, and expects the Smarts technology to eventually take the place of its legacy ControlCenter technology, Tucci said.

The company on Wednesday furthered its moves toward services-oriented computing with the acquisition of nLayers, a developer of software to discover and map applications across multiple servers. nLayers produces an appliance that automatically identifies, maps and models the relationships and interdependencies between applications, servers and devices, Tucci said.

The core of EMC's future growth as it moves to services-oriented architecture will remain its information lifecycle management strategy, a strategy that EMC has been preaching for the past four years, said Tucci.

"Our core strategy is information lifecycle management," he said. "Strategies have to be enduring. They have to grow. They have to mature. They have to get richer. If you change your strategies every year, you can't be successful." Customers know the importance of ILM, as they understand the value of their data and that it costs tens of thousands or millions of dollars per every minute that data is not available, and so are demanding it be available 24/7 forever, Tucci said.

They also know that software or the people using it can have problems, and so they demand seamless recovery, Tucci said. Customers also are demanding that their data be secured, and be compliant with many of the tens of thousands of laws EMC tracks around the world.

To meet those needs, EMC has over the past couple months completely refreshed its hardware offerings, including lower-cost versions of its Symmetrix enterprise-class arrays, Clariion DL virtual tape libraries, Celerra NAS gateways, and Centera content-addressable storage arrays, Tucci said. New versions of the Symmetrix, Celerra, and the entry-level Clariion AX products, reaching even further down into the smaller sized businesses, are coming soon, he said.

On the software side, EMC has introduced new versions of many of its products aimed at ILM, with several changes coming this year.

The newest version of NetWorker, the data protection software, acquired with Legato, has a new graphical user interface customers have been "screaming" for for years, as well as the ability to do backups to disk arrays and to do on-the-fly encryption of data, Tucci said.

New to EMC is journal-based replication and continuous data protection software it got with May's acquisition of Kashya. Tucci said that EMC is now integrating the Kashya technology into the company's Common Recovery Management Console, a single software console aimed at giving a common look and feel to EMC's data protection products, due to ship in the second half of the year.

The Kashya replication and CDP technology is also due to be integrated into a new version of EMC's Invista storage virtualization appliance when it ships sometime this year, Tucci said.

Also coming in the second half of 2006 is a unified archiving platform that takes advantage of technology from a number of its software acquisitions of the past couple years to archive various types of structured and unstructured data into a single pool using the EMC Documentum repository, Tucci said.

EMC by year-end also hopes to introduce its meta data engine technology based on technology from Documentum, Smarts storage mapping and discovery, and other resources, Tucci said. "CIOs have been saying for a long time, give me more data about my data, meta data," he said. "Get an engine to really manage that. Let me classify my data, let me set policies off the classification of that data, and automatically take actions."

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